The Fort Hays State University wrestling team escaped Thursday evening’s dual against Adams State in the second half with a 24-19 victory over the visiting Grizzlies for the Tigers’ first dual win of the season.
Conrad Cole led off for the Tigers in the 125-pound weight class. He faced Darek Huff. Huff came out swinging with a fall in the first period over Cole. The Grizzlies took a 6-0 lead right out of the gates. In the 133-pound bout, Dy’Juan Carney received the call for the Tigers as he took on Luis Gurulo. Gurulo used two takedowns and two escapes in the first period to give himself a 6-2 lead over Carney heading into the second frame. Carney was then pinned in the second period at the hands of Gurulo, giving the Grizzlies a 12-0 edge after two matches.
Third-ranked Brandon Ball put the Tigers on the board with an 8-3 decision over Dylan Udero in the 141-pound weight class. Ball moved to 18-2 on the season and cut the Grizzlies lead to 12-3 after three matches.
In the 149-pound bout, Efe Osaghae took on Natrelle Demison. Neither was able to get a point in the opening period. Demison escaped out of Osaghae’s grasp in the second period as Demison grabbed a 1-0 lead after two periods in the bout. Osaghae was penalized for stalling in the third period and Demison eventually closed the match with a 3-1 victory over Osaghae. Adams State led Fort Hays State 15-3 through the first four matches of the dual.
Freshman Brody Lewis faced Isaac Lopez at 157. Lopez took a 2-0 lead into the second period after a takedown in the last 20 seconds of the first frame. Lewis cut the deficit to 2-1 with an escape, but Lopez immediately earned another takedown to go up 4-1. Lewis cut the deficit in half once more with an escape and trailed 4-2 after two periods. Lopez dominated Lewis in the third period and defeated Lewis with a 12-4 major decision and increasing the lead in the dual for Adams State to 19-3 halfway through the dual.
Halfway through the dual, the Tigers started getting things going as Marty Verhaeghe earned a 9-5 decision over Koery Windham in the 165-pound weight class. In the turning point of the match, Micquille Robinson took on Zach Wortkoetter in the 174-pound weight class. Robinson made quick use of Wortkoetter with a fall in the first period. After seven bouts, the Tigers found themselves only trailing 19-12.
Micah Felton took to the mat in the 184-pound weight class against Nevada Bencomo. Felton earned a 6-4 sudden victory after a few quick points in the third period. Rakim Dean was awarded a forfeit victory in the 197-pound weight class as Adams State kept that weight class open in the dual. After nine matches, the Tigers took a 21-19 lead over the Grizzlies for the first time.
Senior Dakota Gulley put the icing on the cake with a 4-2 decision over Rico Garcia in the 285-pound weight class. The Tigers earned the dual victory for the first time all season.
The Tigers are back in action after making a quick turnaround and head north to Kearney, Neb. on Saturday as they compete in the Midwest Duals against Western State, Colorado State-Pueblo, Chadron State and Maryville. The duals are set for 9 a.m.